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Help! I Can't Find My Glasses!

by Lacey Green

Slice of life
2023

(based on 14 ratings)
6 reviews

About the Story

(To be updated)

Synopsis: Your glasses are missing, and it reeks of a cruel prank to your dependence on them. You have your suspects. Now it's only a matter of time before you unmask them. Will you find your glasses, and see what's hidden in their heart?


Game Details


Awards

56th Place - 29th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2023)

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Number of Reviews: 6
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A bit out of focus, November 30, 2023
by Mike Russo (Los Angeles)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2023

(This is a lightly-edited version of a review I posted to the IntFiction forums during 2023's IFComp).

My freshman year of high school, somebody stole my glasses. I wasnít as nearsighted then as I am now (and I wasnít farsighted at all Ė ah, to be young again!), so I was able to struggle through the day, but it was still a disorienting experience; I remember squinting at blackboards, at faces, at the TV, hesitant and having to constantly guess at what I was seeing, who I was talking to. It was an object lesson in how fragile oneís sense of stability in the world can be Ė and also an object lesson about the cluelessness of teenaged boys, because turns out the culprit was a dormmate whoíd drawn my name for Secret Santa and decided itíd be funny to give me back a bunch of my own stuff.

So I think the inciting incident in Help! I Canít Find My Glasses has legs; waking up after a nap at your schoolís Literature Club room to find them missing, of course youíd drop everything, and even grill your close friends, to get them back. Unusually for a ChoiceScript game, there arenít any stats governing your travails (or at least if there are, theyíre hidden), though you do get to customize your gender and romantic preferences (relevant because you can get flirty with at least one of the two prime suspects) Ė success is all down to the perspicacity of your investigation.

Or is it, though? After two playthroughs, my sense is that the game isnít really structured as a mystery. Sure, you can go interrogate your two friends Ė one the anarchic class clown, the other a mysterious and cool new kid whoís a multiclassed jock/nerd Ė and take a variety of conversational tacks, but these choices mostly seem to have an impact on you relationships rather than your ability to solve the mystery. And as is perhaps evident in the lopsided detail with which I characterized the pair of friends, while questioning one of them is an involved process with the potential for myriad different outcomes, the other friend is dispensed with in a conclusory two or three choices. I explored pretty thoroughly in my first playthrough, but I didnít find my glasses, and though I did in my second, success didnít feel especially satisfying (Spoiler - click to show)(I decided to take a nap and the glasses had come back while I slept)). I consulted the walkthrough, and it seems like the results of your investigation might depend primarily not on what you say when you encounter your friends, but your skill at finding them: the initial sequence of the game involves you trying to track them down via a variety of means, which feels a bit like an exercise in forcing the player to find the plot.

The writing is charming enough to somewhat carry this disappointing gameplay, though Ė itís got a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and though the prose has more than its share of grammar errors and typos, itís still occasionally charming. I got a laugh out of this description of one of your friends:

"Sheís the typical class clown, always with her antics, never taking anything seriously. One time she ordered milk tea for the whole class, even when your school specifically bans outside food."

What a mischievous imp! I do wish the writing had done more to foreground how challenging it is to exist in the world without being able to see well, though; while it gets mentioned from time to time, Iíd often forget my predicament since many descriptions donít seem to be impacted by the main characterís presumably-intense myopia.

Actually, thereís an indication that H!ICFMG may be unfinished; the Comp blurb starts off with ď(To be updated)Ē, and the authorís already uploaded two new versions as of this writing. If thatís the case, a more robust final release may help the game more fully live into its fun premise, but for now itís more of a teaser.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Brief, unfinished game about school dynamics and friends, November 22, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

A long time ago I studied IFComp games and noticed games that were marked as unfinished tended to do really poorly in the voting, regardless of their quality. I wonder if thatís changed now? Itíll be interesting to see how this game places, given that it says it will be updated and that several of the endings cut off in the middle of the story.

Your glasses are missing, and you have to find them! There are two key suspects, Minh and Jaime. All of them and you belong to the same book club.

The game branches pretty heavily, with one early ending being peaceful and happy and another ending I had involved organized crime(???)

Overall, it was fun, but just needs some more work. There were some typos (like Ďpeakí for Ďpeekí, which is funny because Iíve made that same mistake at least twice this week), but not too many.

Itís interesting to compare this unfinished Choicescript game to One Knight Stand, another unfinished Choicescript game in the comp. This game is pretty minimal with just a few choices, but still manages to branch a lot. The other game has over 400K words with tons of choices for each option. Both manage to be pretty fun.

I liked what I saw of this game, there just wasnít a lot.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Glasses and Secrets, October 10, 2023

I'll have to emphasize: The game is still a Work-in-Progress and will be updated further in the near future apparently. It's an entry coded with choicescript, part of the "Less than 15 minutes" playtime. Even though I'm reviewing it, there's not much that can be reviewed, considering it's incomplete.

The title is self-explanatory enough for those wondering what the story is all about. It's about finding the culprit behind the glasses stealing case and solving the mystery of where MC's glasses ended up.

The story is centered around MC running around, trying to find the other members of their club, the Literature club, so that they can question them about their precious glasses. Their names are Minh (terrible pun and toublemaker) and Jaime (the picture-perfect student with a hidden past (Spoiler - click to show) she used to be some sort of delinquent who led or better yet is still leading a... gang of bike racers from their previous school. Nickname: Boss), 2 out of three potential romance options. There's also Red, the "gangster" who is having quite the interesting conversation with Jaime if MC decides to eavesdrop on the conversation.

Can definitively say the author has successfully managed to make use of a hook, choosing to start with the scene of MC waking up and not finding their glasses, showing, rather than telling, the emotional attachment MC has with their glasses. Something seemingly trivial from an outsider's perspective, is made to be felt much heavier from a reader's perspective who knows the anxiety MC is going through. They use the second-person POV narration, a wise choice considering how the game is designed. The writer has the tendency to have a clear and straightforward writing style, making use of descriptive language effectively, managing to set just the right pace. I can't help but think of the loss of glasses and the journey of finding them as a symbol of uncovering the secrets being hidden.

That, being said, there are small grammar mistakes here and there as well as bugs:

1.on Jaime's scene where if you don't decide to eavesdrop, or if you run, the story loops again, repeating the same scenes.

2.Achievements don't trigger even if you follow the guide to the letter. This could be a problem with the html file or the website where it's being hosted.

The game is a cute concept with a simple plot in hindsight, yet if the author decides to develop the miniplots further, it would add more depth to the story overall.

Playtime: less than 7 minutes
Rating: 3/5 because it's an incomplete entry. Will re-rate it after the full version is out.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Can't See a Thing Wihout..., January 5, 2024
by JJ McC
Related reviews: IFComp 2023

Adapted from an IFCOMP23 Review

With a title like that, and a first screen where your default name is VELMAÖ you have set some expectations let me tell you. You wake up in Literature Club sans glasses, talk to 3 suspects maybe romance, maybe fight, rinse and repeat to see all the permutations!

Collect-all-the-endings games are relatively new to me. I think I encountered my first last year. That said, in that short year Iíve seen a LOT of them. The ones that work for me are the ones that branch out into bonkers disconnected end states, that startle me with just how far they are willing to diverge. I think they kind of have to? Ok, thatís ridiculous, I donít make the rules for these things. But if they DONíT they have to justify repetitive gameplay and diminishing returns on comedy text some OTHER way. Generally the shorter the return trip and the sooner the branches become available the better. The deeper the branch point and narrower the divergence, the less it feels justified without some other kind of spice.

I think I need more than what Help! is set up to provide. For one, despite the premise, the lack of clear vision is often DESCRIBED, but does not seem to affect gameplay in any interesting way. Why call me Velma if I canít grope blindly for a while!!! For another, aside from the choice of what your glasses look like, there is a LOT of linear clicking at the beginning before you get to divergent choice points. Certainly the consequences and plot turns those later choices produce have little connection to the paths you clicked making it essentially a Ďblind binary search simulator,í where your agency in determining path is effectively zero. This is not unheard of in this genre, but puts all the weight on the endstate. Until you get there, your eyes glaze a lot over repeated text screens. Iím not sure how many loops I didÖ 8? 10? The endstates I found were unique, but didnít stray far from each other in particulars or vibe. I found less than half the listed achievements, but I did eventually find my glasses (though achievements did not note this?). After the first pass the sly humor could not hold up, the endstate diversity did not dazzle, and it quickly became a purely Mechanical exercise.

Now that I think about it though, there is a kind of subversive read on this. My repetitive looping, then arbitrary clickingÖ confusing things all around me I can barely make out let alone navigateÖ that is kind of a META groping in the dark! Each loop, words flashing past as a barely acknowledged blur. Slapping my hand down with no idea what Iím hitting, how it will play out, just hoping against hope I somehow come up with glasses this time? Maybe this was a better blind search simulator than I gave it credit for! Doesnít change my score, but I think this read on it is making me just a little happier. We good, Help!, we good.

Played: 11/2/23
Playtime: 30min, score 70/200, 4 achievements, found glasses, no achievement?
Artistic/Technical ratings: Mechanical, Mostly Seamless
Would Play After Comp?: No, got the gist.


Artistic scale: Bouncy, Mechanical, Sparks of Joy, Engaging, Transcendent
Technical scale: Unplayable, Intrusive, Notable (Bugginess), Mostly Seamless, Seamless

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Promising relatable interactive story that could be polished further, December 17, 2023
by Vivienne Dunstan (Dundee, Scotland)

This is a choice / Choicescript based game where you have lost your glasses and need to figure out who has taken them. This is a scenario I can relate to only too well. Though I donít usually lose my glasses I lose multiple things multiple times daily. Though not because other people have stolen them to play a prank on me!

I liked a lot about this. Itís a good concept, with a small group of NPCs nicely defined. I did feel the interaction wasnít quite strong enough, and felt there were too few ways to find the glasses in the end. I went to the walkthrough to figure out what do to get that ending. But I happily replayed several times. And was immersed.

A couple of slight linguistic things threw me. Glasses for me is plural, but the game referred to it as singular. Also thereís a reference to climbing into a classroom on the first floor. I guess thatís first floor as in the US i.e. ground floor. This Brit was somewhat confused! Here first floor is one up from ground level.

Anyway a fun game to start the competition with. Thanks to the author! Iíd like to see the interaction expanded a little bit. At the moment it is a little too on rails. But it was a fun read through, and I was encouraged to keep replaying and try other options.

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This is version 3 of this page, edited by JTN on 4 November 2023 at 11:58pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page